Why Students Try To ‘Negotiate’ Their Assessment Grades?

Why Students Try To ‘Negotiate’ Their Assessment Grades?
By Ahmad Amirali

I still remember when I was in school and get average grades in my class tests. I try to ask the teacher why I got these marks, even the checked paper in front of me was full teacher’s comments. Nowadays the same anxiety now taking a new shape in the form of students complains which they do in a variety of creative ways after they receive their tests grades. Now students not only share their concerns regarding their grades with their teachers and parents but also start appealing over social media like Facebook and WhatsApp. The reasons can be anything from convincing oneself that they did their level best; still, they got these marks, or they try to maintain their social reputation or even some only wat sympathising words that might cheer them up. However, they matter of concern to me are not the channels students used when they are in distress but their behaviour of appealing and complain. Why students even want to negotiate or try to request for their assessment re-grading? Read More …

The Online Discussion Boards – A Classroom Pedagogical Tool | How to Use Guide | Pros & Cons

The Online Discussion Boards – A Classroom Pedagogical Tool | How to Use Guide | Pros & Cons
By Ahmad Amirali

Since we are living in an advanced ‘Space-age’ where ICT (Information Communication Technology) is now becoming an integral part of our lives. Therefore, the ethical use of technology as part of the lesson plan provides a paperless and collaborative learning experience for students. However, in developing countries like India and Pakistan, the use of virtual tools usually discouraged by teachers in the classroom due to lack of professional development and in some regional context the lack of resources like multimedia projectors or even cellular devices. It is essential first to reflect how, as a teacher, I perceive the idea of using technology in the classroom? Do I believe that using technology means the use of heavy tech-gear in my classroom as a pedagogy? This perception not only limits the idea of a technology-engaged class but also discourage teachers even from getting involved in this process. Read More …

What Is the Scariest Thought Student Might Have During the Whole School Term?

What Is the Scariest Thought Student Might Have During the Whole Term?
By Ahmad Amirali

The summer vacations are over, and students are all setting their new aspirations for the new journey which is about to start or for some already started at the beginning of August. Besides the usual term classes and assessments, some things that motivate students to work hard and perform well such as new classmates, favourite teachers, reasonable classrooms compare to last years (in most cases) etc. similarly there are things that slow down students’ performance engine. In the majority of schools in Pakistan, the term started in August and most probably every school has their midterm examinations in December. The question that almost every student asks in these four months is ‘how much time left for me in this semester to improve my grades?’ Read More …

Is the Late-Night Smartphone Use turning Teenagers into Daytime Zombies?

Is the Late-Night Smartphone Use turning Teenagers into Daytime Zombies?
By Ahmad Amirali

I usually work late at night and my friends, school colleagues and even my students mostly aware of my schedule. As a result of which my ex-students mostly approach me at night even after midnight. Yesterday, a similar kind of thing happened and one of my previous year students texted me, asking my suggestions about his career choice. It was quite late at night, and unintentionally I asked him, ‘don’t you want to sleep it’s quite late?’ He replied with a usual excuse, ‘Sir, I normally sleep that late’. This reminds me of the whole term experience which I had with this kid. His class performance was above average; however, he always looks like a Somnambulist (walking in one’s sleep or under hypnosis) even during the day time in school. As children grow and move to teenage level, they become at the significant stage of their growth and development that they need more sleep than adults. (Previous Article: Sleep and Teenagers: Why Teens Need More Sleep Than Adults). The result of not having enough sleep can be devastating to teen’s mental and physical health – making them a walking ‘Daytime Zombie’. There are many factors that keep teens from getting enough sleep – one of the factors is the use of late-night smartphones. Read More …

Help Children to See Good Side of Making Mistakes

Help Children to See Good Side of Making Mistakes

Recently three parents came to me complaining about their kids being naughty and taking a keen interest in home-related chores. I simply ask them how they handled the situation when their kids made mistakes? Two out of three parents confess that they use force by scolding their children or by using rough language; even one parent stated that she even swears her kids while scolding them. First of all, it is important to know that children, during their adolescence period, learn from their mistakes. Most adults understand this concept. We have failed to teach our children that there is a positive side to getting things wrong. Read More …

Why Is Experiencing Nature Beneficial For Children?

Why Is Experiencing Nature Beneficial For Children?
By Ahmad Amirali

It’s been four years when I first tried to explore that topic as my Mteach practice-based enquiry (PBE) module; I was not sure about how much importance ‘outdoor learning’ has in adolescents’ cognitive development and engagement with the world. We always believe that children should provide a healthy and safe learning environment and for us ‘healthy and safe’ means no outside encounter. In my research Learning Outside the Classroom –  Students Responses and Learning Outcomes, I explain how exposure to outdoor helps adolescents to engage in an experiential mode of learning. The significant outcome of my research was individuals who spent more time in natural environments as kids appeared to have better mental health outcomes in their adulthood. Read More …

From the Heart of The Students’ Curious Mind

From the Heart of The Students’ Curious Mind
By Ahmad Amirali

Yesterday, while working on my assignment, I was analysing my previous year student classwork task (I usually take snaps of my classroom activities and students’ performance to later show them to parents in PTMs). I found a student note in which he asked me a series of questions about the question I asked during the session of Crusades. I smile for a moment because all of a sudden, the whole school term just flashed into my eyes, reminding how different and curious today’s generation are. I wonder, what makes them question the question or even question the reason?  Is it something student’s way to explore reasons for the reason or it’s just a time-killing strategy? Read More …

Why Do We Lie to Ourselves Most of The Times?

Why Do We Lie to Ourselves Most of The Times?
By Ahmad Amirali

As a teacher, I often observed that students always have their reasons ready for their incomplete homework or their bad behaviour in classrooms. We, teachers, know that almost all these reasons and excuses are nothing but small lies generated in a specific mind frame of students. Interestingly the case is similar to us adults as well. We often, or almost all the time, give excuses to our bad behaviour or bad encounters in our daily lives. However, we often find ourselves defending our lies in front of others and considering it normal behaviour. I called this a motivated false belief wrapped with a fabric of our false hopes and expectations. The question is, why we engage in a practice where we create false promises to ourselves and become part of that drama? Read More …

Stage Fright: Why Do We Fear Public Speaking

Stage Fright: Why Do We Fear Public Speaking
By Ahmad Amirali

Once my teacher told me, when I was in school, to go in front of the class and describe what good and bad conductors of electricity are. As the subject of science was one of my favourite subjects, I gathered all my strength and went to the podium which was placed in the middle of our lecture room. My hands were full of sweat, heart tumbling inside-out, stomach knots and having a strong urge to cry out loud. I realised that speaking randomly to people is much different than speaking in front of the same people. Why would I afraid of talking in front of people whom I met and talked every day? Read More …

To Protect Children’s Future, Parents Should Stop Protecting Them from Failure

To Protect Children’s Future, Parents Should Stop Protecting Them from Failure
BY Ahmad Amirali

I remember my childhood when my mom always reminded me that failure was not an option in my exams. This philosophy is still running in many homes, but now the competition is now getting much fiercer than before. Now, the race is not against the pass or fail but of achieving higher grades and test scores. Nowadays, students are in more pressure than students twenty years ago. Moreover, this parental desire to see their kids shine leaves little room for children to make their own mistakes and learn from them. The question is, what would be the lifelong threats for a child who is overprotected by his/her parent? Is overcontrolling a hazard to their mental and social growth? Read More …